nonjudgemental way to refer to those who experience same-sex attraction (Bronski,xvii)



The fact, or state, of being something.

In the context of sexuality, it is the identification within the spectrum of sexuality to a specific sexuality- with that coming not just the objective facets of said sexuality (romantic and/or sexual attraction, or lack thereof) but also the cultural components of it, and how it ties in with the larger sexual and social system(s) of the world.

sexual system

The acknowledgment that concepts of gender, sexuality, and performativity are generally different to per specific regions and/or cultures. It is important to note, especially historically, given that the dominant sexual system as it is now throughout the the United State (and worldwide) was not always as it was.

  • a great example of this are the myriad of sexual systems prevalent throughout the many Native American tribes that thrived pre-colonization. A good deal of these systems were destroyed (literally) and replaced with more Euro-centric sexual and social systems. (Margolin, The Ohlone Way)


used to describe a person who is attraction to others is not limited by sex or gender categories. The use of the identity category pansexual originated in the 1990’s.

“This word ‘pansexual’ was originally coined by Sigmund Freud within his theories on psychoanalysis in the early-to-mid 1900s, but was instead defined as how sexual energy and desire is the basis for all human interaction in life. However the modern usage of ‘pansexual’ has very little to do with Freud’s definition or his psycho-sexuality theories,” (Jakubowski).

Gender Dysphoria

a term to replace the outdated diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder, along with the stigma GID imposes on transgender people as disordered. Gender Dysphoria does away with the implication that transgender people are mentally ill.

“Based on the standards to be set by the DSM-V, individuals will be diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria for displaying ‘a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender,'” (Beredjick).

“The newest edition of the psychiatric diagnostic manual will do away with labeling transgender people as ‘disordered’,” (Beredjick).

Stonewall riots

riots at the Stonewall inn between the police and the queer patrons of the bar.

The Stonewall Inn was a bar in the late 1960’s that catered to a variety of marginalized queer people: transgender people, drag queens,  gay men, butch lesbians, prostitutes. “In the early hours of Saturday, June 28, 1969, police conducted a routine raid on the Stonewall Inn at 53 Christopher Street in the heart of Greenwich Village,” (Bronski 209). Although, raids of queer spaces were routine in the 1960’s, the police lost control during the Stonewall raid and the crowds of people refusing to leave the area turned into violent resistance. Riots lasted two days and were a response to the anti-gay legal system, and police oppression.

The Mattachine Society did not agree with the riots and felt that they were disruptive to the political progress that they had so far achieved.